Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 401–417 | Cite as

Adolescent egocentrism: The association among imaginary audience behavior, cognitive development, and parental support and rejection

  • Theo Riley
  • Gerald R. Adams
  • Elwin Nielsen


Two theoretical perspectives have been advanced to account for heightened egocentrism during early adolescence. One perspective assumes that formal operational thought is associated with increased self-consciousness. The second perspective proposes that parental support and affection diminish egocentrism, while parental rejection enhances self-conscious reactions by young adolescents. Data analysis using responses from 251 early adolescents (131 males, 120 females) on measures of cognitive development and perceived parental support revealed that (a) formal operations diminished adolescent egocentrism, while (b) perceived parental relations were predictive of self-consciousness. Contrary to posttheoretical assumptions, seventh graders functioning at the level of concrete operations were higher in self-conscious egocentrism than were formal-operations youths. Further, perceived parental support was associated with diminished egocentrism, while perceived parental rejection was predictive of heightened self-consciousness.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theo Riley
    • 1
  • Gerald R. Adams
    • 2
  • Elwin Nielsen
    • 2
  1. 1.Golden Triangle Mental Health CenterChester
  2. 2.Department of Family and Human DevelopmentUtah State UniversityLogan

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